As a part of my current keynote presentation, I usually ask people what they have been thinking about immediately before sitting down for my talk. Common responses are their upcoming meal, a deadline, finding a seat, etc. Immediate needs. Unimportant when viewed from a wider perspective.

I ask the question of the groups to illustrate that nobody is thinking about brands. They’re focused on their short-term needs and goals. This week, as a part of my job, I updated my performance review document. I had to look at our list of goals, my assignments and list all that I had achieved in the past three months. It was a surprisingly long list. This isn’t bragging (humble or otherwise), it is just a fact. Compared to the overall team goals, it was impressive.

Then I started adding things from my personal life and work. There were another dozen items. Unlike my work list, I didn’t have a master list to compare to. I had no context. Despite a list that I’m quite proud of (I wrote a novel for Christ’s sake) I started wondering what I’ve been working for in my personal life. Now, I’m creating a personal plan and a framework to achieve a larger goal for myself and my family. I’ll keep you posted as this challenge is defined and how I’m doing. Watch this space.

This line of thinking has undoubtedly arisen, at least in part, from my conversation with the incredible Amy Kean. She is a force of nature. She is an author, the founder of Six Things Impossible and co-founder of DICE (Diversity & Inclusion at Conferences and Events). She is inspiring because she strikes me as the kind of person who has ever backed down from a challenge, and probably intimidates challenges into backing down from her. Amy is thinking about how to tackle problems that seem too big to address. She let me help for about 40 minutes and I am better for the time.

Find Amy Kean at https://www.amycharlottekean.co.uk/
Her new endeavor Six Things Impossible is here: https://www.amycharlottekean.co.uk/sixthingsimpossible

You can listen to the episode here: https://specific.substack.com/p/dont-worry-amy-kean-is-working-on

And please enjoy this transcript:

Adam Pierno: Alright, welcome back to another episode of The Strategy Inside Everything! We are-this episode has been interrupted more times I think we’ve been trying to play on this for maybe three years, right, Amy?
08:10:45 Amy Kean: Look. Yeah.
08:10:57 Adam: She is the co founder of dice. Diversity and Inclusion at conferences and events, which is what we’re going to be primarily talking about today, and also the founder of a new thing called Six Things Impossible which we’re going to talk about as well. Before you introduce yourself I do want to give the background that not only have we been interrupted by scheduling and crazy things happening in the world and the universe but also my son zoom bombing us, I can hear my dog barking and I’m just soldiering through today, I mean we’re gonna, this is the this is the day this is this conversation is happening.
08:11:31 Adam: I see I’ve got a smile You should see, you can see how big my smile is that smile, you know even, even internet is playing against this today.
08:11:42 Amy: But you know, I think you can hear when someone’s smiling.
08:11:45 Adam: Yeah. Amy Kean thank you very much for joining. I’m very excited to speak with you, and long time coming. Would you give people a sense of your background before we get up and running.
08:11:58 Amy: Yes, I, I call myself a mouse.
08:12:04 But I wonder whether that does myself, that does me a bit of a disservice. I’ve worked in the advertising industry for about 16 years. And the way that it’s played out is that I’ve always kind of like a moth, and been drawn towards the new stuff the shiny stuff the bright exciting stuff. I just can’t help it. So I worked in digital I worked at the instant having taught Advertising Bureau years and years and years ago when the internet was crap.
08:12:35 Adam: And as you say it’s much better.
08:12:37 Amy: It’s much more toxic now they’re just gotten better at serving it.
08:12:45 Yeah, diner was still in operation when I started working in digital. loved and then I moved into innovation. I have been head of strategy for mine share in a pack I did that for a number of years. Most recently I was Global Head of strategic innovation for stock on so I’m kind of a mess with substance, because what I really like to do is kind of i’d love entering new spaces but I also like to make sure that she gets done well.
08:13:30 Adam: What is it about new spaces that attracts you You said you’re like a moth, but what I know enough about you, Amy to know that you’re not just flitting from thing to thing. What is it about new spaces that pulls you in.
08:13:42 Amy: I am just. I’m caught in constant need of exhilaration stimulation and just relentlessly curious and so like learning new stuff, trying new things I love most people this is what you learn when you were head of innovation in an agency is that most people hate, hate, hate risk with a passion, and they’ll avoid it at all costs but for some reason I don’t know why I absolutely love it because I don’t I don’t mind making mistakes because I’m kind of sure that whatever happens I’ll probably be able to fix it.
08:14:26 And so, I love the thrill of the unknown. Try to is that part of what you’re trying to do when you enter a new space Are you trying to understand it to diagnose potential risk, so that you can create solutions for avoiding that risk or meeting at risk and fixing the problems that are that you anticipate. Yeah, it’s like you is, I swear to god is that according to my brain pulled out so. And, and I think that comes yeah there’s not some media I think it comes from having worked at a trade body was the beginning of my career. When the internet was emerging and it was an awesome wild west but just from a regulatory perspective, you kind of learn how important integrity is in all of these different mediums. So I was one of the people that worked with the Advertising Standards Authority to introduce hashtag, add and hashtag spawn.
08:15:18 This was about you know like social media posts.
Adam: Oh no, I’m very familiar
Amy: Yeah yeah this was a good 10 years ago maybe more than 10 years ago we went to the government we were to the is day when I went to the IRB. You would not believe how something is straightforward and simple as hashtag add, you wouldn’t believe how long that took oh no I can imagine how complicated, but ups because of the bureaucracy and how many yeah disciplines, there are in that the agencies, the whole the influencer industrial complex around it. This is the problem with government and anything to do with the internet is that the internet is far faster than any policy could ever move and government was not built to understand the internet.
08:16:01 Adam: The internet has just subsumed.
08:16:04 Amy: Yeah. Oh good, I digress for a second because I think you’ll find it interesting. Sure, I, I was part of this event on futurology about a couple of months ago and it was set in the year 2013, and there were a few different futurologists, you were there
08:16:19 to kind of talk about the, the 2032 they envisaged and one of the women predicted that in the year 2030, the tech companies are going to have more power than government in in a lot of countries, and a lot of markets.
08:16:34 Adam: I think that might be true now in some countries.
08:16:38 Amy: Which one’s the one I’m in. Think.
08:16:44 Adam: Yeah, don’t you think, I mean in some ways it’s clear that they do.

Would you like to hear more from Adam? Book him as a live or virtual speaker


08:16:48 Amy: Yeah. Yeah. I reckon, although I wonder whether there is going to be a bit of a backlash over the next few years, who knows. That’s the question. Yeah, that’s the question Who do you might be out of the bottle at this point.
08:17:04 Adam: Yeah, but that sounds like the kind of challenge you try to take on, you’ll see something where it looks like maybe it can’t be fixed or it just needs to be fixed and nobody’s willing to roll up their sleeves and it sounds like that’s the kind of problem you try to tackle.
08:17:17 Well you know what’s next on my list and I’ve written about that a little bit but no one’s taking me seriously, which is me off. I want to create a social media license. So in the way that you need well in your country you in, where are you coming to us, I’m in,
08:17:36 Adam: I’m in Phoenix, Arizona, alright, okay.
Amy: And so in the way that you need a license to drive a car in your country you need a license to own a gun and you use it like in the UK used to need a license to ride a dog.
08:17:50 Adam: Yeah dog license here. I see you dog has to be licensed not the person, but yes, yes.
08:17:58 They have to be able to bark. You know, it’s crazy.
08:18:02 Amy: No, loving, as a dog license, but I don’t know, I don’t think there is a test. Just imagining a dog, getting really stressed. Anyway, so I think in the same way that you need to own a license to do various things I think people should have to have a license to use social media.
08:18:31 Just as regular users you mean or as practitioners to regular users. I think there should be like some kind of basic tests that you take that tests your, you know, anger management and psychological responses and, you know, the effect that different content has on you. I think I know it sounds preposterous.
08:18:54 Adam: But it does sound, not preposterous but it just sounds so big. Yeah. Have something to climb that I don’t wouldn’t even know where to start.
08:19:04 Amy: Yeah, but the reality is like children, mentally very damaged by various different social platforms. I’m sure you could prove I mean, social media kills, on occasion, there’s proof of it.
08:19:18 Yeah, it would be the only way that I can think of doing at the moment, like I’m just thinking about the UK is that you’d partner with the telecommunications providers so wherever you had a telecoms company providing access to the internet and if you were using social certain social sites. That’s where you’d get your license for them and they wouldn’t allow you access to those sites unless you have a license is what I’m thinking at the moment.
08:19:43 Adam: That’s really interesting to think about.
08:19:45 Amy:Yeah, I know,
Adam: I know you’re not afraid of big challenges because you co founded dice, I want to I want to learn more about. Talk to me about what triggered you starting that what what was it that finally made you say I mean it’s a problem I think under representation at events and conferences, is something pretty clear for a long time but what was what finally made you say okay I’m going to start an organization to address this.
Amy: Yeah, I’m going to tell you, it was story. So I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned like I’ve never written about it or anything about 10 years ago, I was giving the keynote speech at. I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned like I’ve never written about it or anything about 10 years ago, I was giving the keynote speech at. It was like, like an entertainment conference in London, it was in the BAFTA building so quite a grandiose building. And I turned on, kind of nervous but he’s giving my keynote and I went up to this guy who it turns out was the chair of the organization that was running the event. And he was like Hello, and I was oh hi I’m presenting today. And he was oh are you what are you doing I was oh I’m actually giving the keynote, and he was clever, go. King prick his, his assumption was like oh this is a woman she, she must not be the person that I’m expecting,
Adam: Who has the name Amy which is the same as the name on the poster that’s outside of this.

You just read this whole thing? Hmm. If you’ve got time on your hands, you might like Specific or Under Think It.


08:21:10 Amy: It even looks in the poster, you know, but he was what it made me realize was that women in events in a lot of different industries for for a long time were an anomaly, you know, you’d have, you’d have a token woman on the panel and over the years the amount of times I’ve been wheeled out to talk about stuff that I know very little about. And just to boost the female numbers because I rarely say no. And so I’ve always kind of been this token women at events obviously it’s got better over the years and there’s some incredible female thought leaders, particularly in our space, blow me away.
08:21:49 And, but I’ve always noticed that there’s always been more men than women speaking at events in most industries. And then over the last few years, it’s become more and more frustrating when you see these lineups of all white male middle class, speakers, and it just, it started to really piss me off and for a while, I’d kind of call it out and you know that’s fun for a while because everyone gets behind you and then something must be done something must be done in the way that happens in social media, you know, easy, it’s easy to like something on. And then nothing happens. That started to get really boring and frustrating for me so I teamed up with a few peers a couple of journalists and some people in the ad industry to try and put an end to this kind of model, or one or, or why all male panel.
08:22:48 Adam: Yeah.
08:22:52 Amy: And do you want to know how we did it?
Adam: I would love to know how you did it because I’m, I’m, I attend a lot of events I speak at events I’ve been on these panels where I look across and I’m like this again, like I started saying no or recommending people because it’s, it’s, you just is this interesting to an audience to see three of the same of us in these chairs with the same shoes yeah is this helpful? So how did you start this?
08:23:48 Amy: Yeah. So, one of the guys I teamed up with is a guy called Paul and he works in the innovation space.
08:23:55 And he works in healthcare so advertising and innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. And he gave us this really interesting parallel so one really interesting thing one of his friends, created this kind of initiative, because he noticed that in events in the pharmaceutical industry there was always one main demographic that was never ever included was never asked on the stage their thoughts were never taken into account in any of the content, and that was patients.
08:24:23 Adam: Oh, that’s interesting.
Amy: I know so there’s various reasons why they, you know, you’d have to pay them to get there and they’re not always is professional public speaking, etc. And what this guy did was create a charter called patients included that sets out all the different ways that you could include patients and the thoughts of patients and even get them speaking on stage, to make it really easy for conference organizers in the pharmaceutical industry to do so. And it works. If it works, so he created this thing he just writes up on a website people read it and the more people started to do it, the more other events organizers who didn’t do it felt embarrassed. And so it was kind of I guess it’s behavioral economics process I don’t know which one it would be. But everyone started to behave in that positive way.
08:25:13 Adam: That’s so smart. And so simple, really the solution, it’s, it’s much more pointed and deliberate than I, then you think when you hear a problem like that like where do we start, well here’s a good way let’s just let’s just create a charter that’s going to guide us and get people to opt in, so everyone that’s not opted in will look like they are against it.
08:25:33 Amy: And you know what I actually sometimes things I think it’s really impressive that this guy just did it on his own, sometimes is really powerful when someone just gets done and does something. Yeah, stakeholder doing it to death. And you know, people like ‘God everyone’s got an opinion’ you don’t even anyway. No, but some somebody just needs to take the first action that pushes things forward.
08:25:55 Adam: Absolutely.
08:25:56 Amy: And so we decided to try and mimic actually because it had been so effective. So we created our own charter that set out how you could make a modern conference feel diverse and inclusive. And what we decided to do so. DNA is obviously a very very emotional subjects and rightly so. Lots of people have lots of opinions and also be voice those opinions, very often. And so we decided to take all of the emotion out of it. And so what we chose to do was based this charter on the 2010 of the UK 2010 Equality Act, because within it, there’s nine pathetic characteristics that it’s against the law to actively discriminate against so you have race, gender, age, disability, religion, sexuality, and so on. Some are more relevant than others when it comes to events. So we created a charter there’s got 10 points to it, covering all these different presets the characteristics.
08:27:11 The covers conferences lineup, but also its content, and also is marketing, because it’s not just what you see it’s all the stuff that’s done in the background. Yeah, and events, well we went a step further than the pharmaceutical example, because what event organizers can do is they submit their work, their agenda, etc. They just fill out a really simple form online and then we certify them there 10 points you get 10% for each point so you could get a score of 100%, we decided to make it really really really easy.
08:27:29 Adam: And if you get over 40% you pass, yes right in the right direction and you make it a little bar that doesn’t feel onerous so people aren’t intimidated to try.
08:27:47 Amy: Hang on, hang on, again as a positive reinforcement, I don’t know, I’m not too well versed in the world of behavioral economics. I guess it’s something some kind of technique, no,
Adam: Oh no for sure it’s positive reinforcement but you’re also you’re making it feel a lot easier than it feels when you describe the challenge and when you start thinking about programming an event.
08:28:04 Amy: And when it’s enough for tick boxes out of 10, all of a sudden you go that was, that was easy.
08:28:09 Adam: Yeah, finding those a lot I think you start to say oh we got a good pat on the back of that we got better attendance we got better press coverage. Let’s go for six next time.
08:28:16 Amy: Yeah, that’s bang on that’s exactly you know it’s pretty interesting we’ve had a good few people get 100% which is just so remarkable. They speak about how better how much better their event was they talk about all of these organizers they get amazing percentage scores, they talk about the conversations that they’ve had that are really fulfilling and different to what they normally have people are so proud of themselves when they’ve become a certified. And it feels good.
08:28:48 Adam: And what is the, how is the feedback loop so they, so you’ve gotten some participation. And then, how has it spread them to other conferences and organizers have have have a shared this idea across so you created it and kind of plugged it into the conferences you knew about, but are you seeing that as they have these positive results they’re sharing it with more and more organizers is it spreading that way now horizontally.
08:29:12 Amy: Yes, yes it is yeah so when people get die specified. When organizations get diversified. They talk about it a lot, and wonderful bragging rights that you’ve done things the right way, particularly in the project, and particularly in the year 2020. It was, it was interesting I thought we created dies before all of this stuff happened this summer that put equality and equity more on people’s radar, I mean far so much overdue but people had already started to look at this kind of thing at the beginning of this year. People talk about it a lot when they’ve been certified but also, and this is where I’ve received a lot of criticism. But fuck it, and I, if I still see all my panels. I do call it out on the likes of LinkedIn and Twitter and I do make a really big deal out of it and, and sometimes I can be quite blunt, when I do this because in my opinion and I’m the one that does it the most because I’m okay with the fallout. And it’s unacceptable. And I just I cannot get my head round, how someone can curate a conference so there’s like 12 speakers, and you write all the blogs and you make the marketing materials and you put it on your website and then you put on social media and not one person involved in that process has noticed that is all white men. I just feel like that’s fucking outrageous like it makes me very very angry because it’s not acceptable. And I know people say, 30 events I don’t give them a hard time I will give him a hard time

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Adam: Right, because if you don’t start there where do you start?
08:30:49 Amy: yeah sorry it’s likely that you can’t see me thrashing around right me Please don’t hurt me, I’m just having a conversation. I’m on your side. I’m on you.
08:31:03 Adam: Well, what kind of what kind of low back to you get to that because I listen, I am a, I am the person who’s in the middle chair. So, you know, I actually have conflict about this because I should want to be more, more, get more attention and be invited to more of these things but I know it’s ridiculous. So when I see people calling it out I’m always like, yeah, that’s right. We shouldn’t. It shouldn’t look like that if you’re not getting a good representation of perspectives, you’re not getting, you’re getting all one voice, for the most part.
Amy: Yeah, I don’t know, 100% of the cases but likely if everybody looks the same and comes from the same background.
08:31:38 Adam: So what kind of what kind of push back to you yeah like what kind of what happens?
08:31:43 Amy: So you get a passive aggressive responses where people say, Well actually we were, we were looking for diversity of thought we don’t see color or like we don’t see gender, and I’m like bullshit. You don’t have to invest if so if you have a white men though. So I get the passive aggressive responses and then sometimes like I have had quite nasty people have found my mobile number. I’ve got I’ve had a lot of messages like DMS with people saying you need to ask nicer, ‘This isn’t going to happen if you’re not nice.’ People saying that you know I should email people directly I don’t have the time, I got I, you know, I, if I could do this as a full time job I do this voluntarily we all do who worked for DICE. If I could do this nine to five every single day of the week yeah so I emailed everybody individually and I’ve helped them. I don’t have the capacity.
08:32:39 Adam: Right, right.
08:32:41 Amy: I think also, it doesn’t make as much of a, it doesn’t make a ripple if you email the person, and they take it offline that’s what they would of course that’s what they want, because they don’t want to be called out.
08:32:50 Adam: Yeah.
08:32:52 Amy: And if someone call me racist and sexist.
08:32:58 Adam: It is.
08:32:58 Amy: That’s my favorite. That’s my favorite thing you’re, you’re racist against white males right, which is I mean I’m not like I love them. But you know, you just don’t want to hear from an entire day of panels follow.
08:33:16 Exactly. I mean, imagine like a whole conference for me, like I wouldn’t want that either. I don’t know right now I’m feeling like it would be pretty goddamn of music, but maybe would be a lot.
08:33:31 Adam: Oh God in the morning when you know please.
08:33:38 Amy: She’s still going.
08:33:40 Adam: They’re all going to unleash this on us.
08:33:48 Amy: But now we have volunteers, by the way, and how big of a group is it now so you you co founded it with a handful of people but you know it’s grown, both in terms of volunteers, and in terms of reach, how many people are participating now about 50. Holy moly, and are they all doing the same. Are they all volunteering in the same way or do you have divided functions. And we got divided function so we’ve got education certification. You can tell us justice, three pillars.
08:34:20 Education, certification and strategic partnerships. People need to know about this stuff so we’ve got volunteers on the ground, let me just show you the link just like sending it out and use this as a whatever. We’ve got we get such a volume of events now applying for certification so we’ve got like a whole team. and just for individual events or can an organization achieve certification as well. It’s an organ organizations who have come to us and asked bas, and there can be particularly with events companies, there can be a willing consistency from one event to the next.
08:34:58 And one thing I noticed I don’t know whether you notice there’s like over the summer, when the Black Lives Matter movement, attracting more attention, black men to speak at the event. So obviously they would have got 100%.
08:35:15 But, you know, fast forward Three weeks later and they’re doing an event on the future TV and it’s 99% why, right. So, there’s a huge amount of inconsistency so internally that I trust any events companies yet to have that kind of long term badge.
08:35:29 Adam: Well, I guess, so you want incremental progress because it’s better than no progress, but it’s not enough.
08:35:38 Amy: I mean it can’t just be.
08:35:40 Adam: It can’t just be when the media moment is right for them to include black voices or voices from any particular group, you’re striving to make it more equitable all the time.
08:35:52 Amy: Yeah, exactly. I hope to God. You know what we like in this industry, how we treat everything like a trend, like I’ve heard, I’ve had a lot of people over the years describe feminism as a trend. You know this new feminist trend. And I hope people don’t feel. I hope people haven’t cheated it this the, you know, racial equality in the same way.
Adam: What would you do to, to help reframe it so that it’s not so it’s people aren’t considering it a trend that I think you’re right that, especially over the summer you saw every brand, making their Instagram avatar, black, you know they blacked out for a day I was like, ‘Great you solved it.’ And they felt like they deserved the pat on the back for that but you’re right if it’s treated like a trend then we expect we start looking for the end of the trend and go back to whatever the next thing is, so how, how, I’m wondering if you’ve thought about how might you communicate about it as a way that people know this is a real permanent change that we’re trying to make, or that is happening with you or without you.
08:36:56 Amy: Yeah, I think the only way from an organizational perspective, the only way that you can make sure that is not treated as a trend is to link it to long term measures or long term KPIs. That’s the only way that you can ensure that people are thinking about it all the time is when you link it to someone’s own reputation or someone’s own success. That’s what unfortunately in the world that we live in. I was gonna say the word that we now live in live in but it’s always been the same humans don’t change that much they care about themselves they care about their reputation they care about their own profitability. So if you link, promoting a more equal society to someone’s KPIs. For example, you know, one example in an organization, could be you link diverse recruitment to someone’s bonus.
08:37:46 Adam: Or you get 360 degree, behavioral feedback from people you know when it comes to appraiser time based on how they’ve how they they approach the subjects of equality and equity.
08:37:59 Amy: I think if you don’t do that if you don’t kind of align it with long term measurements. Then people won’t think of it in a long term way.
Adam: Have you started doing so I know every conference you go to they give you a feedback card and they want feedback on individual speakers and then they email you 50 times after the event to find out how it was. Have you done any longitudinal work to show that pre, pre-DICE and post dice the results are better? Or have you created surveys that are can be integrated from dice into a to an event organizers so that they can ask questions and get feedback on the results of their efforts in diversity and inclusion?
Amy: Such a good idea. No, we haven’t. That’s a really really good idea. I should do that. I think it’s a way to, because they’ll keep those measures you know most any reoccurring event or any group that puts on a lot of events they already have that they really do rely on that data.
08:38:56 Adam: Absolutely.
Amy: There’s so I’m trying to. There’s a phrase that I’m trying to make a thing, thinking if I turn into a jingle it might happen even. Ah, that’s a good thing. I don’t think it needs a jingle guys from day one. No, I can’t do it. And so we get a lot of. We get a lot of events companies coming to us two weeks before their event, and they’re not quite DICE certified and generally they want my help to find a border bunch of speakers to make their lineup diverse. And it’s just like ‘Why are you doing this now? Why now?’
Adam: But once those people come to you, let’s say, in an August they came to you and they needed your help to bail them out and to get, they want to get a 40, so they come to you and they asked for three speakers that you point them to.
08:39:59 Amy: Yeah, when they come back in October, did they go right to the form and fill it out or do they are they repeat offenders where they keep coming back at the last minute and looking for a bailout repeat offenders. And it’s kind of got to this stage where I just I give people a lot of favors because I just want. I want the job to be done well. So I get to I get people just coming directly to me now.
08:40:25 Adam: Going back to behavioral economics, it’s almost like the nudge that you need to create is that you create a speaker’s bureau, and it’s free. If you’re six months out, and the cost goes up, the closer you get to the event,
Amy: We are having a brainstorm here!
Adam: We are. I didn’t mean to, but I can’t help it.
Amy: I love it. This yes do you think guys from day one, there’s a.
08:40:44 Adam: This is bland register with us on the day you’re kicking off planning, and it’s all the speakers in here are you pay no fees to us, you pay the speakers, but there’s no fee to DICE. But the closer you get to your event, there’s a 10% fee 20% fee.
08:41:00 Amy: Bravo, this is excellent. Um, yeah, cuz there’s. So there’s I don’t know if you read last year was that you might be involved in fact, there’s an event guy called Paul Armstrong curates every year called TBD
Adam: Nope.
Amy: It’s taking place in January of next year. He spoke so he started speaking to me as soon as he began to curate the event. Months ago now, and he got 100% three months out, and you should look at the look at the lineup like it’s just, it’s so rich is incredible and it was hard work right away though he started at the beginning, for what he wanted the event to be like, Yeah, he’s got in on Musk’s mum.
08:41:53 Adam: I can’t say if the I’m sure she’s lovely but I can’t say for sure if that’s good or bad, I’ve never I’ve never read any of her writing or, I don’t know. What is her expertise?
08:42:05 Amy: I know that she’s famous in her own right.
Adam: Yeah, his whole family his whole family.
08:42:11 Amy: Yeah.
08:42:13 Adam: That’s incredible. That’s interesting. Well, tell me about Six Things Impossible, because I know now I’ve learned that you want to take on these big challenges or not surprisingly, the word impossible in there but I know you’ve mentioned the six threads and I’m assuming diversity inclusion is one of those threads.
08:42:28 Amy: Yes, absolutely. So, you know, I’ve wanted to have my own company run my own company, for many, many years.
08:42:40 But I’ve never been brave enough, which is you know I guess I, you know, when you, when you know it’s the right time you know it’s the right time.
Adam Yeah.
08:43:03 Amy Focused on that shit—crazy, brilliant creation. You know what am I creating brilliant stuff with his little ego as possible.
Adam That’s the dream
Amy: And there’s an amazing quote and Alice in Wonderland, where the Red Queen says to Alice. ‘I like to believe as many as six and six impossible things before breakfast.’ And I’ve always loved that quote because I mean Alice in Wonderland in the main is about kind of madness and being yourself. And I just like that quote because it’s about being open minded and just trying to, you know, do the impossible and all that jazz. And it’s about letting your brain go there.
08:43:37 Adam: Yes, yes.
08:43:41 Amy: It’s harder and harder to get people to open their minds that way. Everyone has this filter don’t know.
Adam: I have it.
08:43:48 Amy: Do you have to filter?
Adam: Sure. Of course I do. Oh, yes. But, but, you know, from time to time it’ll the filter kind of loses power a little bit and something gets in there and then I write a novel or do something stupid.
08:44:04 Amy: And that we’ve already received so much in this.
Adam: Well, I think the filters down today but we’re not. It doesn’t you’d made it, you framed it so that it didn’t feel impossible.
Amy: So then there’s practical problems to be addressed. You know what I mean.
Adam: Yeah, that’s the word, that sounds like what the work you’re doing is you’re, you’re reframing the impossible things, so that it’s like, oh okay well then it’s just these three small problems.
08:44:26 Amy: Here’s how.
Adam: Here’s an idea to fix it.
08:44:28 Amy: Hundred percent. So there’s there’s various things in the industry where I think yeah we have become to filter it. And the way that we talk about people is shipped. And the way that we talk about culture and trends is actually fictional. And people often say that a cultural trend is just a thing that happened once, and there’s an assumption that people change constantly they don’t. And also, you know, having worked in innovation for so many years, creativity and innovation. And I think I’m sure lots of people would agree there’s been far too much of a focus on crazy stuff that was awards rather than just, you know, is a good campaign that people like. So there’s all these different things these areas that I want to kind of work in and and lead by example without being too arrogant and but diversity is one of those things. Just pure reinvention is one of those things you know, I want to do I love collaborating with people love it, like I really don’t like working. And so any collaboration that comes up, I just I’m all over. I love that. Yeah, kind of hard for someone with a strategy background because a lot of times you end up at the work ends up being you with the PowerPoint.
08:45:43 Adam: Yes. So, was that throughout your career was that always, you always pushing against that or do you just always put yourself in situations where you were collaborating?
08:45:53 Amy: I just love I’m really a typical strategist, I think I’m not suggesting roles and obviously had a strategy for Mindshare in Asia. I just I’m not a normal strategist and I don’t know it’s it’s just it’s like to get carried away with their own thoughts and they always want to be the most intelligent person in the room. I don’t want I don’t want to be the most intelligent person in the room. I want to I want the room to be intelligent.
08:46:19 Adam: Yeah, Right. Rising Tide raises all boats. Collaborate or is it just your personality and it’s your company and that’s how it’s going to be?
Amy: I think there’s a massive role for a group of people to sit in between agencies and media owners. I’ve worked in major agencies for a very very very long time and I think the relationship between the two is often phrase and it’s the projects, happened too fast and there’s, there’s some creativity has been lost in partnerships, like media partnerships, creative partnerships. And what I’m planning to focus on in 2021 is being that person who can help agencies and major owners come up with, you know better, more unique ideas.
08:47:21 Adam: And I think there’s such a need for that. That’s great.
08:47:24 Amy: I hope so, because otherwise it gets conveyed in a deck, where here’s here’s our channels here’s what’s available, and it’s kind of like reading a catalog.
08:47:34 Adam: Oh, I’ll take two of these 10 of those one of these verses, communicating and figuring out okay how do we bend this one to do more of what we want and how could within this framework, how can we make it work harder.
08:47:44 Amy: Yeah, absolutely.
08:47:47 Adam: That’s interesting. I’d love to see how you’re moving that forward.
08:47:51 Amy: Let’s go out. Let’s do it.
08:47:52 Adam: We have to, that means we have to speak again before the next three years so hopefully we’ll get some guys on the call. Yeah, I just made this weird. I think it was my inappropriate joke but please do please do not repeat it. Hey, I’m glad that we stuck it out and we did make this work though because it has been wonderful talking to you.
Amy: You too.
08:48:18 Adam: Thank you very much, where can people find you online, Amy?
08:48:22 Amy: Oh, well i’ll tell you what I am smashing LinkedIn right now.
08:48:33 Adam: I don’t know whether I don’t know whether you heard in the news, but it was on CNN this morning, Amy has been named one of the top voices in marketing and I think it’s like top 10.
08:48:44 Amy: Yeah, I’m number seven, which is the number that everybody likes isn’t it. I think they send out 200 notifications that everybody’s number seven just feels more quiet, more plausible. So yeah, so I wouldn’t LinkedIn sharing some delicious thought leadership.
08:49:05 Amy: But, amycharlottekean.co.uk is my internet space.
Adam: Absolutely I will link to both of those places because I think I don’t think we were actually connected on LinkedIn, but we will be soon.
Amy: Prepare yourself.
08:49:21 Adam: I don’t think I’m ready for this much thought leadership I didn’t, I didn’t.